EC-03 An avian model for understanding adaptations and modulatory drivers of avian migration

Dr Valeria Marasco [1]
Prof Leonida Fusani [1,2]

[1] Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology, Department of Integrative Biology and Evolution,
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna

[2] Department of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna

TQW2Fachgebiet: Neurophysiology of migration
What is it: Birds have evolved exceptional adaptations for migration to take place: they can invert their circadian rhythms turning from diurnal to nocturnal, undergo rapid changes in body mass and fat stores, and cope with repeated cycles of fasting and feeding during their migratory journeys. The mechanisms underlying such fascinating adaptations are very poorly understood. Using the Common quail (Coturnix coturnix) as my study species, my Marie Curie post-doctoral project has the following main objectives: (1) to determine the physiological mechanisms associated with the activation and deactivation of the migratory state, (2) to determine the genes modulating such transition, (3) to determine the main signals that could trigger the switching of the migratory state. During my presentation, I will give you an overview of my project and I will also present preliminary results from our ongoing experiments.